noun: deadbeat; plural noun: deadbeats; noun: dead-beat; plural noun: dead-beats
adjective: deadbeat; adjective: dead-beat
(of a clock escapement or other mechanism) without recoil.
We all have seen them or at least heard about them. We have experienced them, some of us many times over. Both of my parents were deadbeats and my husband was a deadbeat at one time with his own kid. I’m not afraid to admit that. I will explain this in a minute. My step kids mom is a deadbeat, however I will say she wasn’t always this way. She actually use to be a very attentive mother. This changed when my husband left her choices to have dire consequences that she couldn’t handle. She ran away from the product of her decisions.
The whole deadbeat system is completely sexist and so often abused! Mothers call fathers deadbeats after the mother tortures, harasses, and abuses the father to they point they no longer wanting to deal with the drama, abuse and the games so they avoid the problem all together (the HCBM). Yet, when a woman doesn’t put up with the same abuse, harassment, and games she is STRONG for choosing her self worth over her child. It’s complete and utter crap and a double standard. But it gets worse…
Another double standard that goes hand in hand with this sexist view of parenting is the parent that goes above and beyond. When a man steps up, marries a single mother, stands up for her child, and becomes actively involved he is a hero! “A REAL man.” When a woman marries a single dad, becomes involved and stands up for the child, she is “over stepping her boundaries” and “should have a child of her own if she wants to be a parent so badly.” Yes, these are real statements I have been told and sometimes by other step mothers! There is an entire article in Psychology Today about why women are treated so much worse than men when it comes to step parenting. Why do we do this?
Since when did advocacy for a child (no matter the age) become a bad thing? Why are men scrutinized and punished for taking a stand for themselves to not be abused or taken advantage of, but PRAISED for taking over another mans child even when the biological dad is in the picture and WANTS to be active in his child’s life? I have yet to see a situation in which the father of a child harassed the mother to get his way, but I have seen MANY mothers who will stop at nothing to manipulate and take advantage of fathers.
Why are women shamed for being active and supportive step parents, but praised for being strong when they neglect the kid to “focus on themselves”? Why do these roles reverse? Is it because men are SUPPOSED to be neglectful and women are SUPPOSED to be nurturing? I can tell you right now that while I am a bleeding heart and I care deeply, I have no intention of becoming a biological parent. That in itself is another topic for another post.
It’s something that people don’t think about until they meet a wonderful person doing a wonderful thing such as being there for their child (men) or taking care of someone else’s (women) and then we realize we are part of the problem! I didn’t even THINK about this stuff until I had to deal with it first hand! I can’t count the number of times that my step kids mother has told me that “If God trusted you around children, he would have given you one. You’re inexperienced and don’t understand.” But the SECOND she chooses to “focus on herself” suddenly it’s “Welcome to parenting! This is what you signed up for!”
Okay listen Bitch, you harassed and belittled me for trying to be civil for three years and suddenly I’m suppose to fill your role because you chose not to? AND you’re going to continue to insult me for it and reap all the pity votes because you “need to focus on yourself”? If you were non confrontational to begin with, you’re life wouldn’t be so bad that you need the SPACE to focus on yourself.
Honey, even raising your son and working full time (something you can’t seem to grasp at the moment) I can STILL find time to take care of myself. It’s called being a responsible human being! It’s taking 5-30 minutes a day and having ME time. It’s providing structure which your kid is thriving under. I put up with your psycho shit and I’m still criticized for “over stepping”. What am I suppose to do? Let your kid starve to death? Let him live in filth? Not take him to school? No, that’s what YOU, his MOTHER did. Ignoring him is what YOU are doing. Call it self care all you want, it’s called being a deadbeat! The same thing you called my husband when he couldn’t take your crazy bullshit anymore and stopped answering your phone calls, ignoring your texts, and blocked your emails because you were incapable of being a rational person.
I asked in the Facebook group what experience any of you have with deadbeat parents and there were some truly sad stories. From mothers who have passed out from drug binges and their toddlers roamed the streets to mothers leaving them in the car while they are at a party and getting stupid drunk. These women, no doubt, are shitty human beings and parents! But, let me guess, you’re still called an over stepper because you stand up for the child? It’s bullshit and you shouldn’t have to hear that! It’s not true! It’s called being a parent, step or not!
When a father stands up for his own child, he is called “difficult” and “uncompromising”. Often times this is for simply requesting things like “Can you be on time?” or “Do you mind taking the kid for a haircut?”. He is the problem in the eyes of the court system and the mother. When a step dad does the same thing, he is a “hero” and “brave.” I guess a single or re-married man taking care of his kids is frowned upon in society unless you’re not blood related to the child. I cannot pretend to understand the logic in this.
How do we stop the double standard?
It’s simple. Well, kind of. Step moms, we want recognition for a job well done and hard work, right? It’s difficult for us to give the same recognition to the other family when it’s deserved. Let’s all agree to take that first step and start praising birth mother when she begins doing things right. Not only will it throw her off guard, but you are making the change and will hopefully open communication!
Dads, you want to stop being abused, right? It’s time to use the legal system to your advantage. Go to mediation. Don’t be afraid to call a restructure of the custody order. Re-calculate child support. And most importantly, redirect all conversations to the child and speak calmly to the selfish psycho you reproduced with! I know it’s hard! (That’s what she said) but this could be the first step in making a change. 18 years is a long time to eat shit!
It’s not much, but it’s a start! We all know HCBM will cave and want to “play nice” and “find a way to communicate” before too long. That’s the game she plays, right? Bullies and criticizes when she can and asks for “civility” when she wants something or thinks she can get more. Just point out the differences to her and tell her, firmly, the double standard is not fair to the child and you will not put up with it any longer. Tell her his is no way for either of the adults to live and you just want the same respect she wants. It may work, it may not. What is there to lose?
I know this is an ideal world and scenario I’m speaking of here. What suggestions do you have?? Leave them in the comments or on the Step Mommy Dearest Facebook page!
Step Mommy Dearest